We’ve taken god out of churches.

Pastors in Arkansas, are seeing the need for increased security in churches, and are addressing it in precisely the way we should if there were no god looking over us.

As legislators discuss allowing churches to determine whether people with concealed carry permits can bring guns into their sanctuaries, pastors are giving their take on the controversial proposal.

Moments before families filled the pews at St. Mark Baptist Church for Wednesday night service, Pastor Phillip L. Pointer said he understands the need for more security in the nation’s sanctuaries.

His church utilizes security staff to monitor the premises during services, but will only authorize police officers to carry weapons during worship service.

“There are so many things that can happen, there are children present, seniors present. Unintentionally some great harm can come from a person having those things here,” Pointer says concerning permit carriers bringing guns to churches.

First Baptist Church of Sherwood’s pastor says he has seen the need for church security up close.

“I pastored in Malta, Texas when I first got out of seminary. Daingerfield, Texas in the mid 80′s had a gunman come in and kill a bunch of people,” says Pastor Ricky Lee.

Like St. Mark,  Lee’s congregation has built-in security, members that are trained police officers that can volunteer or work for the church.

Why would they need more security…unless, of course, we’ve taken god out of our churches.

Or, more likely, he was never there to begin with.  Nor was he in a school or a movie theater.  There are only humans there, and it’s only humans that can make these things better.  It’s to their credit that they are content to rely more on other people than on god’s protection, even though I’m sure they’ll all tell you it’s actually the other way around.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • UsingReason

    Don’t they just need to pray harder and make sure the bowls of bills with ‘In God We Trust’ are prominently displayed?

    • steven findley

      Yes we should, but for factions like yours we should also display all others pay cash!!

    • steven findley

      Yes we do, but for factions like yours we should also display “all others pay cash”

  • Art Vandelay

    Oh that is just perfect.

  • Greg G

    Doesn’t Jesus teach that if someone shoots you in the left cheek, you should turn the other cheek? Maybe he used slightly different words but the sentiment remains.

  • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Maybe they’re just scared Jesus will come back and go all “Temple moneylenders” on their asses.

  • Anat

    Didn’t that already happen when churches were fitted with lightning rods?

  • IslandBrewer

    Oooh, they should see this as a sign that they just picked the wrong religion, and should try a different one. Maybe a new one each week until they get some sort of divine thumbs up.

    Next week, Zoroastrianism. You know, in honor of Freddy Mercury.

  • baal

    “addressing it in precisely the way we should if there were no god looking over us.”
    Yep, if you want something that works, going with reality + engineering (science generally) is the way to go.

  • Glodson

    See? That shows that there is a god. Any all powerful entity would be anywhere besides a church during a Sunday Sermon.

  • nakedanthropologist

    This is interesting, but I can see where they’re coming from. A lot of people stay in religion for the ready-made community and social support. The church is a gathering place, and it is a location that most adherents to be a “safe” place. After the Newtown shootings, it makes sense that people would be a little paranoid, especially when so many of their fellow parishioners own guns themselves. In a way, this is a (tiny) victory for inclusivity and reason, because they realize that their faith doesn’t make them extra-special or extra-safe. Don’t get me wrong – this is a horrific way to gain a more reasoned understanding of how the world works, and I would prefer that it didn’t take a tragedy of any magnitude for people to have a more realistic view of the world around them as well as their place in it, but at least they are taking reality-based precautions.


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